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Why Does Your Toilet Keep Running?

After you flush your toilet, it should keep running for a minute or two while the tank refills. If it just keeps running, and running, and running with seemingly no end, this is a sign that something is wrong. In most cases, the flapper, a device that fits over the opening to the pipe between the toilet tank and the bowl, is to blame. When the flapper gets old and worn, it does not seal properly and begins letting water seep from the tank into the bowl. As a result, the water ends up running constantly to keep the tank full. Thankfully, replacing a flapper is not a tough task. You can tackle it yourself by following these steps:

Unhooking the Old Flapper

Before you begin this process, turn the water supply off to your toilet so you don't keep wasting water. All this requires is turning the big knob, usually located near the base of the toilet, all of the way to the right until the water flow stops.

Locate the flapper in the back of your toilet. It's a rubber or plastic piece that looks like a cap and is attached to a chain. When you pull on the chain, it lifts out of a pipe.  Unhook the chain from the top of the flapper. Also, unfasten the two "hooks" that hold the flapper to the edge of the pipe. Then, take the flapper with you to the hardware store to ensure you buy another one of the same size. Most flappers are one-size-fits-all, but if you have a non-standard toilet of some kind, you may need a specialized flapper.

Hooking Up the New Flapper

Hook the new flapper onto the sides of the new pipe. (Usually, all you have to do is push the plastic hooks into place.) Then, connect the chain to the flapper and set the flapper in its spot on the pipe.

Turn the water supply back on, and flush the toilet. Watch what happens with the flapper. When the toilet flushes, the lever should pull the chain, which pulls the flapper up out of the pipe, allowing water to leave the tank and fill the toilet bowl. If the flapper does not come up far enough to let the bowl empty completely, you'll need to shorten the chain connected to the flapper. You can effectively shorten the chain by just hooking a further-down chain link to the flapper instead. Experiment with different chain lengths until you find the length that allows the flapper to be lifted up completely during flushing.

Put the lid back on your toilet, and enjoy the peace and quiet! The days of a constantly running toilet are now over. Contact a plumber, like, Cleary Plumbing, for more help.


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